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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Monday, April 29, 2019

My new book intro: But What In the USofA Were We Thinking: 9/11 to 11/9

But What In the u.s.ofa. Were We Thinking: 9/11 to 11/9

To Begin With
When 9/11 happened, I was living in my two bedroom apartment in Berkeley CA, sharing it with my ex-lover. We had broken up after five years of trying to make it work and now, because neither one of us could afford to live separately, we were trying to reconfigure our lover relationship into one of roommates.
            She both got up earlier than I did in order to go to the union hall waiting for a job, plus she watched more tv than I did so I was more annoyed with the early wake up than concerned when she came into my room before 6a.m. with the unbelievable news that a plane had crashed in NYC into the twin towers.
            Even after she told me ‘terrorist attack’ never crossed my mind but visions of how small NYC really is and how close the airports are to the city were what flashed through my head as I tried to go back to sleep.
            When she came in a few minutes later to tell me another plane crashed into the towers I chalked it up to her wild imagination. When she insisted that the crashes were intentional, I still just mentally went through the catalogue of times she had gotten facts mixed up and told her she was probably misinterpreting what happened.
            She reached across me and flicked on my tv as she hastily beat a retreat, both out of my bedroom and the apartment to rush off to work.
            I shut the damn thing off as rapidly as she’d turned it on. Then, wanting to be the one to get the facts strate, I sighed, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and then returned to turn on the tv just in time to see the buildings collapsing.
            I was in a state of shock, watching the same footage of the planes, the towers, the people, the smoke. My mind catalogues chosen family, biological family, and friends living or working near the twin towers. I know no one working in the twin towers at that moment. I try to call my grandmother first, wondering if this 99 year old womon would be awake yet let alone up. Her line is forever busy, as is everyone else’s that I know.
            I stay home, glued to the tv all day, while they’re looking for the president of the u.s., speculating about who could have done this, was it intentional, were we being invaded.
            The second I heard bush talk about ‘terrorism’ and ‘acts of terror’, then later talk about how ‘they’ were jealous of our ‘freedom’ and that we should all just go shopping, I unplugged my tv and took it to the street, leaving it on the curb for anyone else to take. Even before bush, the playing and replaying and playing again the same footage over and over and over was so sickening.
            No one was talking about what was really happening and why. No one was talking about anything but rounding up muslims and arabs and rah rah rah u.s.ofa.
            Less than 48 hours after the first plane hit, I had painted the back of my truck “Thou shall NOT kill” in giant letters. Under that I painted five words in black inside of red circles with diagonal line slashes them: retribution, retaliation, offense, defense, revenge.
            Thou shall not kill – period.
Three days later, I closed my antique shop for a few weeks and started driving around the country seeking out especially womyn to ask, “do you really want our country to go to war” because I KNEW our “just go shopping” president was going to direct us to war IF we didn’t act promptly and fiercely.
And we did swiftly invaded Afghanistan, even before I returned to California and then moved quickly on to threatening invasion of Iraq even though by this time we all knew not one man on those planes was from Iraq. We also knew that no nation had invaded us, but a handful of disparate and desperate men had attacked the manifestation of our blatant opulence and domination, as well as the tools by which we conquer and enforce our wealth and domination.
The other thing that deeply hurt me was our nation’s inability to turn this horrific experience of male violence into compassion for all the countries and peoples we were and have bombed and attacked, the very people who were experiencing daily this kind of violence at our hands. Instead, our leaders used our shock and righteous indignation to foment extreme nationalism – so extreme my grandmother, a survivor of the WWII holocaust called me almost daily, ordering me, cajoling me, begging me to “take the babies and leave the country”. She warned me vehemently about the hatred and rabid fever she was witnessing, identical to what she witnessed in Germany.
Within a few weeks, I was able to head across the country again, keeping the “Thou Shalt NOT Kill” words on my truck but this time painting over & replacing the circles with: “Unless wanting 60 percent of the world’s resources for 4 percent of the world’s people”
On the left side of my truck – the side that people passing me on the highway would have to read – I painted a strident anti-war message: “Womyn Say ENOUGH! BASTA! NO WAR!” “Impeach Bush and Asscroft!” “Vote for war: send YOUR sons, not ours!” When I had done all of this, I was ready to hit the road again.
Since 9/11 I have clocked over 400,000 miles – protest miles – on my truck with missives updated on all sides to reflect the current ‘state’ of our country’s wars: internal and world-wide. I have engaged in dialogue and actions with the choir, the other, and everyone in between. I’ve been regaled, harassed, nearly run off the road (by trucks bigger than mine) and invited to rest and recharge at the homes of many strangers. My tires have been slashed, my windshield broken, my messages defiled with hate graffiti. $50, $100, $20 dollar bills have been left under my windshield wipers or handed to me; my café and grocery bills paid for; gifts left for me on my front seat.
I’ve kept a blog although not very faithfully since 2003. These are the stories of my interactions detailing but what in the u.s.ofa. were we thinking: 9/11 to 11/9.